Los Cabos Tennis Open

 Los Cabos Tennis Open

BY PEDRO BENITEZ-CRESPO

For those of you who don’t know, the Los Cabos Tennis Open is an annual event, part of the ATP 250 tour. The contest, organized by Mextenis, takes place at the Cabo Sports Complex (CSC), a multifunctional sports complex that boasts magnificent facilities and exquisite architectural design, with a capacity for 3,500 fans, a grandstand for 1,500 people and three fields that can be adapted to receive up to 800 spectators (in addition to a special area for players).

Since its first edition in 2016, the tournament has been acclaimed for its impressive natural environment in the Baja California peninsula, which combines the beauty of the Sea of Cortez and the desert-like nature.

Let’s not forget that this event was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, but for this year, on its seventh edition, the young tournament summoned several top 20 players, who performed from July 31st to August 5th on hard surface.

The organizers highlighted that the competition and the incredible facilities drew more than 30,000 fans! In addition to offering a top-level show, the tournament also offered a variety of social events, parties, and charity activities for all attendees.

Amongst the highest ranked players, were the Greek, Stefanos Tsitsipas (No. 5) and British Cameron Norrie (No. 13), champion in 2021 and finalist in 2022. American Tommy Paul (No. 14) and Croatian Borna Coric (No. 15) were also present. In addition to the Acapulco 2023 champion, the Spanish-Australian Alex de Miñaur (No. 17) and Chilean Nicolás Jarry (No. 29) also played in the tournament.

Amidst the events around the Los Cabos Open, there is one which claimed much attention amongst the media: The Tennis Talks. A series of interviews took place on July 31st at Hacienda del Mar Hotel, hosted by Caro Guillén. It was also transmitted on ESPN by Star Plus, where some seeded (top) players of the tournament were asked several informal questions about their life and professional careers.

During the show, Tsitsipas Paul and Norrie shared tidbits on how they started in the sport, who sponsored them and more technical stuff like how they heal from certain injuries. Paul was asked whether he felt pressure to carry the U.S. flag since there was no U.S. player who is close to being No. 1 in tennis. Stefanos revealed the reason why he decided to pursue a professional career in the sport and shared details about his relationship with Spanish tennis player Paula Badosa, viewing it as the best thing that has happened to him. He also shared part of his musical taste, recognizing himself as a Bad Bunny fan.

In terms of Mexican players, we had the presence of the young Rodrigo Pacheco, who just finished playing the Junior Wimbledon Open and received a wild card to play in the main draw here in Cabo. 

Note that a wild card is granted when a player is included in the draw of a tennis event at the discretion of the tournament’s organizing committee. It is a way of supporting the local talent where the event is celebrated. Rodrigo Pacheco, Ernesto Escobedo and Luis Carlos Álvarez were all Mexican players given wild cards at the Los Cabos Tennis Open.

The winner of the tournament was Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Alex de Miñaur, 6-3 and 6-4 in two electrifying sets.

This was the last year the tournament was held during summer. Next year, it will take place in February, prior to the Mexican Open presented by HSBC in the city of Acapulco, which is an ATP 500-tournament. So, by next year, Mexico will host two A-level tournaments back to back — an ATP 250 and an ATP 500 in consecutive weeks, thanks to the work, organization and experience of Mextenis. 

This means that as of 2024, a continuum of tournaments will take place in the Americas, since the top players can partake in the Los Cabos and Acapulco tournaments, followed by Indian Wells in California (an ATP Masters 1000 in March) and then go play at the Miami Open, also an ATP Masters 1000 tournament. 

This is opposed to what we currently see in players going to the Middle East – Doha, Qatar – an ATP 250 (February) and Dubai, UAE – an ATP 500 (February) tournament. 

The date being in February will allow more locals to be present during high season, making it a more diverse crowd with less heat enjoying the spectacle of tennis played at the highest level. The idea is to have the chance to appreciate this beautiful sport. And like Boris Becker once said, “I love the winning, I can take the losing, but most of all, I love to play.”